News Digest: UK Moves France to its Amber List



News Digest: UK Moves France to its Amber List

The UK finally lifts quarantine restrictions for vaccinated travellers from France, plus we’ve got the latest on the Pass Sanitaire and exchanging your UK driving licence in France. Here are the French news stories you need to know about this week.

1. UK Moves France to its Amber List

As predicted in last week’s News Digest, the UK’s travel rules for France have once again changed. Thankfully, this time we have some good news to report! After mounting pressure from the French authorities and expat communities over their controversial ‘amber plus’ policy (which singled out France as the only EU country from which travellers still needed to quarantine), the UK announced on August 5th that France was being moved to the amber list.

This means that, as of yesterday, all vaccinated travellers arriving in the UK from France will no longer need to undertake the 10-day quarantine or take a Covid test on day 8. However, you will still need to take a pre-travel Covid test and pre-book a Covid test to be taken on day 2. Proof of vaccination will need to be presented at the UK border, and this can be in the form of France’s Health Pass/EU Travel Pass or a physical vaccination certificate.

See our article on travel between the UK and France for more details.

2. France’s Health Pass Now in Action

Yesterday also saw the extension of France’s Health Pass (Pass Sanitaire), with new laws coming into force across the country. From now on, a Health Pass is required for entrance to all cultural venues and large events (including gyms, concerts, and tourist sites); all cafés, bars, and restaurants (both for indoor and outdoor seating); all long-distance buses and trains (but not regional trains, metro trains, or trams), and for visitors to hospitals and retirement homes.

A period of ‘adaptation’ has been mentioned for the first week, indicating that there may be some leniency as businesses and individuals adopt the new rules, after which there will be fines for businesses who fail to comply.

In order to activate your Health Pass, you will need proof of vaccination, a negative Covid test taken within 72 hours, or proof that you have recently recovered from Covid-19.

Read our article France’s Health Pass (Pass Sanitaire): Everything You Need to Know for all the details.

3. Simpler Process For UK-French Driving Licence Exchanges

Back in June, we announced news of the long-awaited deal for UK driving licence holders to exchange their licence for a French one. This was good news for those whose UK licences are not yet due to expire (it’s no longer required to exchange your licence before the end of the year), as well as for those whose licences had already expired (expired licences can still be exchanged under the new deal). However, there has been some confusion over the process.

Some UK licence holders have reported issues obtaining the ‘certificate of entitlement’ or ‘Attestation de droits de conduire’ that is required as part of the paperwork. This certificate is issued by the DVLA and can take some time to acquire – French authorities have also been asking for this to be translated into French, adding further delays.

However, the French Interior Ministry and British Embassy have now confirmed that for British licences issued by the DVLA, the ‘Check Code’ print-out will be accepted. This service is available on the DVLA website here and allows you to print out or share a copy of your driving record – a far easier and quicker procedure than formally requesting a Certificate of Entitlement. The British Embassy has also indicated that translations will not be required.

Have you recently exchanged your driving licence or used the ‘check code’ print-out to complete your driving licence application? We’re keen to hear about your success stories or difficulties to better understand how this process is working in practice. Get in touch with me at: [email protected]

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FrenchEntrée's Digital Editor, Zoë is also a freelance journalist who has written for the Telegraph, HuffPost, and CNN, and a guidebook updater for the Rough Guide to France and Rough Guide to Dordogne & Lot. She lives in the French countryside just outside of Nantes.

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  •  Jeremy Heigham
    2021-08-11 05:46:08
    Jeremy Heigham
    Can someone clarify what the real rules are for taking foodstuffs etc to France. Can you really not take a sandwich etc to eat whilst you are in transit in your own vehicle?


  •  Lorraine McKie
    2021-08-10 08:54:45
    Lorraine McKie
    Carolyn Gowan, I think you have it arse upwards! Zoe was stating the requirements for travelling TO the U.K. FROM France, not TO France FROM the U.K., which are correct.


  •  Carolyn Gowen
    2021-08-10 06:06:00
    Carolyn Gowen
    Your information is wrong. If you are travelling from the UK and are fully vaccinated you do NOT need to have a Covid test before travelling to France.. See the government’s advice here “Travellers who are fully vaccinated do not need an essential reason to travel to France and do not need to self-isolate on arrival. From 18 July, fully vaccinated adults no longer need to present evidence of a negative test result before travel. Fully vaccinated travellers will need to present the following documents:” You should surely be able to get this kind of thing right?